Older Background Reports -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: elderly man who sits on the edge of the bed and holds his chest painfully; Copyright: panthermedia.net/belchonock

New insights into why patients have a higher risk of heart attack in the morning


Cardiovascular disease patients have lower levels of an important family of protective molecules in their blood in the morning, which could be increasing their risk of blood clots and heart attacks at those times, according to early research led by Queen Mary University of London.
Read more
Image: a plastic model of a heart and a stethoscope; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Shidlovski

Signals of the heart: TU Darmstadt works on algorithms to detect atrial fibrillation


There are currently an estimated 1.8 million people in Germany who have atrial fibrillation but do not know it. Now a Dutch company has developed an app with which a smartphone can be used to detect this dangerous cardiac arrhythmia. Scientists at the TU Darmstadt are helping to ensure the recorded data is interpreted correctly and efficiently.
Read more
Image: woman measuring her blood sugar; Copyright: panthermedia.net/imagepointfr

Female sex not a protective factor against heart disease in type 1 diabetes


Constrictions of the coronary blood vessels is a possible consequence of type 1 diabetes, and one that can eventually lead to myocardial infarction or heart failure. Generally speaking, women are afflicted by coronary artery disease later than men, but if a woman has type 2 diabetes, the advantage is negated.
Read more
Image: doctor measures blood sugar level in an elderly man in a hospital bed; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

People with diabetes face increased risk of infections


Diabetes patients have an increased risk of suffering serious infections or death compared to the general public, new research has shown. The study analysed the electronic GP and hospital records of more than 100,000 English adults aged 40 to 89 years with a diabetes diagnosis, and compared them to those without a diabetes diagnosis.
Read more
Image: pregnant woman holding her belly with her hands; Copyright: panthermedia.net/EugeneGensyurovksy

Premature birth associated with increased risk of heart disease in mothers


A study led by researchers at Keele University has found the risk of death in later life due to coronary heart disease doubles in women who give birth prematurely.
Read more
Image: female jogger on stairs takes several steps at once; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lzf

Everyday exercise has surprisingly positive health benefits


The benefits of low-intensity physical activity, such as standing, walking or doing household chores, can be more health beneficial than once thought. According to a study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology, replacing half an hour's sedentariness a day with everyday activity reduces the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by 24 percent.
Read more
Image: colorful, mosaically labeled embryonic heart; Copyright: Fabienne Lescroart

From stem cells to a functional heart: the role of the Mesp1 gene


Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles and University of Cambridge identified the role of key gene Mesp1 in the earliest step of cardiovascular lineage segregation. This discovery may help to better understand congenital heart defects.
Read more
Image: wrinkled hands of an old woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ia__64

Anorexia aggravates disease progression in heart failure


Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) have discovered that patients with heart failure who have anorexia are also more affected in their physical functional capacity and have worse prognosis. Factors that encourage anorexia are the intake of diuretic medication, inflammation, and involuntary weight-loss.
Read more

"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces


Few patients with heart failure are fortunate enough to receive a donor's heart. Ventricular assist devices (or heart pumps) have been around for several years and are designed to buy time as patients wait for a transplant. Unfortunately, the body doesn't always tolerate these devices.
Read more
Image: sleeping baby; Copyright: panthermedia.net/hansenn

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk


Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Read more
Image: A hand touches a smartphone camera that is measuring the heart rate with an app; Copyright: Preventicus GmbH

"Preventicus Heartbeats": An app that's a clinically validated medical device


Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world. Yet many incidences of stroke are preventable since they are frequently associated with an undetected abnormal heart rhythm. In this case, patients can benefit from using the clinically validated "Preventicus Heartbeats" app, which measures and documents the heart rhythm with a smartphone camera.
Read more
Image: Vials in a rack; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

MEDICA 2017: all about laboratory medicine at the MEDICA LABMED FORUM


If you are interested in laboratory medicine and come to the MEDICA 2017, you will quickly notice that Exhibition Halls 1 and 2 were demolished. A new state-of-the art hall is meant to take their place. Until then, exhibitors from the field of laboratory medicine will be showcased at their temporary new location in the lightweight hall structures 3a and 18 on the fairgrounds.
Read more
Image: Screen showing an image from cardiovascular angiography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/fly_wish

Coronary heart disease: non-invasive imaging reduces catheter examinations


Coronary heart disease (CHD) can cause heart arrhythmia, heart insufficiency or heart attack. All the more important is an early, reliable diagnosis that helps to treat it and to reduce risk factors. But what is the best method for diagnosis? A recent study found that functional imaging methods can often spare patients the trouble and risks of a coronary angiography.
Read more
Image: Collage of several MRI images of the heart, in which different locations are marked with red arrows; Copyright: University Hospital Münster/Ali Yilmaz

Myocarditis: more specific diagnosis thanks to molecular imaging


There are many causes of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. Oftentimes, the culprits are viruses or bacteria and sometimes even an acute heart attack. Regardless of the cause, it creates a challenge for cardiologists: a diagnosis tends to be only nonspecific without a biopsy. A cardiac MRI and molecular imaging promise to provide assistance.
Read more
Image: Different medical pictograms; Copyright: panthermedia.net/aimage

Collect Data? Utilize Data! – The Blessings of Big Data


Genome data, MRI images, and blood test results – data collected in the medical sector is not only very heterogeneous but also extremely extensive. However, it is important to not only collect this data but to also utilize it. After all, processed, linked and analyzed data provides many opportunities in research, hospital management and ultimately also for the individual patient.
Read more
Image: Heart-shaped bowl with salt; Copyright: panthermedia.net/grafvision

Sodium intake and blood pressure: too much salt is bad for you. What about too little salt?


Common salt – or sodium chloride – is essential as a stimulant for nerve conduction. What is more, sodium ions also regulate the water balance in the body. Yet when it came to salt consumption, for the longest time the rule was "less is more". However, a recent study publication calls this belief into question.
Read more
Image: Drawing of a human body, written down are risks for diabetics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/marigranula

Heart attacks in diabetics – a special danger


Diabetics are not only schooled in getting a handle on their blood glucose levels, but also in looking out for possible complications. One complication of diabetes is nerve damage. It is often responsible for the so-called "diabetic foot". Something many people are not aware of is that the heart can also be put at risk by nerve damage.
Read more
Photo: Men and women running

Individualized sports medicine: training by design


Exercise makes you healthy – oftentimes even when you are sick. That’s why doctors hardly ever recommend taking a break from it. Even patients who are about to receive a heart transplant can benefit from sports. As is so often the case, the dose makes the poison. We asked sports medicine physician Prof. Martin Halle, what people need to consider.
Read more
Photo: Three men pose during an award ceremony

Cardiac insufficiency: early diagnosis with ultrasound


Heart failure or cardiac insufficiency presents an extra strain on patients because it severally limits everyday performance and deprives them of energy. Due to their intense need for movement, children are particularly strongly affected. However, the disease is frequently not detected until the physical performance is already declining. An early diagnosis could prevent this.
Read more
Photo: Keyboard with heart symbol

Big data in cardiology: IT platform to manage "flood of data"


In addition to patient counseling and clinical diagnostics, the lion’s share of a cardiologist’s work consists of collecting data to be able to better treat future cases based on the gathered information. Until now, this data was recorded in Excel spreadsheets or many other communication platforms. A software is designed to facilitate a cross-industry exchange.
Read more
Photo: Three-dimensional model of the right ventricle

Ultrasound: four dimensions for pediatric cardiac diagnostics


Fortunately, only a handful of newborns are affected by them, though this determines if not the rest of their lives then, at least, the first few years of affected children: congenital heart defects. After the necessary surgeries, the small patients repeatedly need to return for checkups. Until now, these were conducted using MRI scans. 4D ultrasound can be an alternative.
Read more
Photo: two physicians working at a test set-up

Atherosclerosis: Getting to the root of the problem with a turbo gene


Many people suffer from atherosclerosis, especially in developed countries. The buildup of fatty deposits inside the arterial blood vessels leads to strokes and heart attacks. Now, a new method is designed to get to the root of the problem, and with the help of nanoparticles inject new turbo replacement cells into the blood vessels which are intended to exert their curative effect.
Read more
Photo: child with broken arm

Different specialties, one goal – treating children right


Children, especially newborns, are generally no longer simply considered to be small adults whose treatment just needs to be "reduced". This is why a pediatrician’s education includes several specialties because ultimately everything in terms of care comes together here.
Read more
Photo: pipette in petri dish

Great leaps forward thanks to new methods


Self-healing powers like a superhero on the big screen? That’s the aim of regenerative medicine; at least in a very broad sense. This promising field of biomedicine is currently highly dynamic with innovative technologies and development. New methods are designed to help propel medicine into a whole new sphere.
Read more
Photo: artificial heart valve

Artificial heart valve: "The structure is meant to be broken down again by the body at a later point."


There are various artificial heart valves available for children, but they have one essential drawback: they need to be replaced because the children are still growing. The artificial valve, on the other hand, remains the same size – and subsequently becomes too small. This is why an artificial heart valve that grows over time would be ideal.
Read more

A wearable to draw a complete picture of the heart


Smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. Self-monitoring therefore is one of the core strategies for changing cardiovascular health behaviors. On the other side, patients benefit from sharing their data with doctors and electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Read more

Fast and low radiation exposure: The newest generation gamma camera


Nuclear medicine physicians use so-called gamma cameras for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The devices record radioactive substances that are injected into the patient and show changes in the heart muscle (myocardium). Now a new gamma camera is able to record images faster and by using much less radiation.
Read more

ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"


When measuring myocardial activity, it is important for the skin to always stay moist under the electrodes of the ECG. Only then can data be consistently transferred. Athletes have an easier time with this: they are used to sweating. This is a lot harder for older patients.
Read more

Transcatheter Pacing System: The world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker


In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, the normal heart rate gets out of balance due to various reasons. In some cases, it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker. Just like with any intervention, this type of surgery also involves risks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to abnormal wound healing or obliteration of the vascular system.
Read more

Wanted: rapid test to prevent deep vein thrombosis


Deep vein thrombosis is not just a risk factor for frequent flyers but also for wearers of cardiovascular implants and newly operated patients. Blood thinners prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming, but they need to be carefully adjusted and do not work the same way in every patient. A detailed analysis of platelets (thrombocytes) could prevent complications in the future.
Read more
Photo: Stents

Stents: Braiding versus cutting


Braided stents are nothing new in medicine, but their manufacturing process is still time-consuming. This is why Professor Stefan Jockenhövel from the RWTH Aachen University and his team want to make machine production possible.
Read more
Photo: Ensminger and Gummert holding a 3D heart replica

Aortic valve replacement: Precise preoperative surgical preparation thanks to a silicone heart


An 80-year-old female patient needs a new aortic valve replacement. Since the old one is severally calcified, the leaflets no longer open properly. Due to various factors, the patient is considered inoperable. Nevertheless, to make surgery possible for her, specialists at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in Germany have prepared the intervention based on an exact 3D heart replica.
Read more
Photo: a hand holds a sign for magnesium

Absorbable magnesium scaffold: "The patches need to follow the movement of the cardiac muscle"


A magnesium implant will soon be available to help patients, who exhibit damage in the high-pressure area of the heart. The implant protects a tissue matrix where new cells that replace the affected tissue are meant to grow. The implant itself is supposed to completely dissolve after several months. MEDICA.de spoke with D. Eng. Thomas Hassel about this exciting project.
Read more

Vascular health in athletes


"Sports are good for your health", as the saying goes. Regular exercise promotes the health of our blood vessels and prevents vascular diseases. However, many years of competitive sports can also have negative effects on vascular health and increase the risk of myocardial infarction. Prof. Martin Halle of the Technical University Munich explains at MEDICA.de what athletes need to pay attention to.
Read more

Football: "We want to globally determine deaths for the first time"


Sudden deaths of football players make headlines time after time: competitive athletes who are the idols of many people die just when they are on the playing field and in the limelight. Congenital heart defects often cause their death. Sports physicians and FIFA now plan to ascertain data that can help improve preventive examinations in competitive football.
Read more

"The Virus Manipulates the Host Cell on Different Levels"


Heart diseases can be triggered by special viruses that affect the cardiac muscle. Preventive drugs could definitely be developed – if the virus does not mutate.
Read more